FTSE 100 rose on Wednesday, recovering some of the previous session's losses as financials firmed and media stock ITV (>> ITV) crept higher.
The blue chip FTSE 100 <.FTSE> ended up 0.4 percent at 7,365.26 points, while mid caps <.FTMC> gained 0.5 percent.
Among financials, HSBC (>> HSBC Holdings) added 0.9 percent while Barclays (>> Barclays) and Standard Chartered (>> Standard Chartered) rose 0.2 and 0.6 percent respectively.
Banking stocks were hit particularly hard in the previous session as risky assets slid on geopolitical worries after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday.
"The FTSE 100 has actually held up quite well if you compare it to its European counterparts," Jonathan Roy, advisory investment manager at Charles Hanover Investments, said.
"That's got something to do with ... the weaker pound and the higher weighting towards commodities, because we've seen a continued rally in commodities across the world."
Precious metals miners Randgold Resources (>> Randgold Resources) and Fresnillo (>> Fresnillo) took a breather following strong gains on Tuesday when safe haven assets were in demand. Both fell around 0.1 percent.
ITV's (>> ITV) shares regained part of the previous session's losses, ending up 2.6 percent.
ITV ended Tuesday with a loss of nearly 5 percent, caught up in a wider sell-off within the European media <.SXMP> sector after German peer ProSiebenSat.1 (>> Prosiebensat 1 Media SE) slumped after cutting its outlook for TV advertising.
However, a more positive set of results from RTL Group <RRTL.DE> boosted the sector on Wednesday, in turn lifting shares in ITV.
Outside of the blue chips, earnings sparked some sizeable moves, with shares in industrial machinery group Diploma (>> Diploma PLC) jumping 5.9 percent after the firm issued a trading statement for the third quarter.
Numis also upgraded Diploma to "add" from "hold", saying that they expected revenue growth to track a little ahead of their estimates while the shares have retreated over the past three months.
Shares in small cap equipment hire group HSS Hire (>> HSS Hire Group PLC) plummeted as much as 23 percent, however, after reporting half-year earnings.
"This update reinforces our concerns with respect to the group's financial position, and believe that its financial leverage will limit its ability to support sufficient fleet growth to deliver sufficient core rental growth to deliver on its strategic ambitions," analysts at Liberum said in a note, reiterating their "sell" rating on HSS Hire.
The stock ended down 11.7 percent.
(Reporting by Kit Rees; Editing by Toby Chopra)
By Kit Rees
Stocks treated in this article : Ashtead Group
, Diploma PLC
, Standard Chartered
, Randgold Resources
, J Sainsbury
, Prosiebensat 1 Media SE
, HSBC Holdings
, HSS Hire Group PLC